Why doesn’t everyone with unmetered electricity mine Bitcoin?

A lot of folks are in situations where they either don’t pay for electricity or pay a flat rate. Why aren’t they all mining Bitcoin? How about office workers? Nobody complains if they plug in a space heater, a Lava lamp, an aquarium, or a personal phone charger. Maybe the landlord is paying the electric bill in any case. Why wouldn’t there be a Bitcoin miner that “flies under the radar” by consuming less than 500 watts? Supposedly it takes about 13,000 kW/h to mine one coin (source), so that’s about three years at 500 watts per hour. Three years is a long time to wait (we could get lucky and earn a Bitcoin after 1 day, right?), but on the other hand a $10,000 bonus once every three years would be welcome!

How about folks who live in apartment buildings where the landlord hasn’t installed individual electric meters? If there are indeed any of these buildings left, why don’t the tenants replace all of the bulbs with LEDs, refrain from using the electric stove, and then run two 1500-watt Bitcoin miners 24/7?

Here’s a miner designed for home use: the AntMinerR4. It consumes 845 watts of power and generates “52 dB” of noise (actually 52 dBA?).

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7 Comments

  1. dwight looi

    March 7, 2018 @ 1:54 pm

    1

    A better argument is this…

    99% of the wattage a computer, or computing device with a custom ASIC or GPU, consumes is dissipated as heat. Sound and mechanical motions are negligible — a couple of 4 watt fans in a 800W system for instance. Therefore, just think of bit coin miner as a Dyson electric heater! Both are over priced for that role. The difference is that one can hit the jackpot and earn you money the other cannot!

    We should make a Crypto Heater! A space heater which is intended to warm your space as needed but “may” produce a Bitcoin or two over time.

  2. bobbybobbob

    March 7, 2018 @ 4:03 pm

    2

    I would lose all my carbon credits and couldn’t fly or drive anywhere.

  3. billg

    March 7, 2018 @ 6:27 pm

    3

    You could put some JavaScript on this page to use every visitor’s computer to mine bitcoins for you. Just sayin’

  4. Alan Fekete

    March 7, 2018 @ 6:39 pm

  5. Mitch Berkson

    March 8, 2018 @ 8:42 am

    5

    Don’t neglect the opportunity to use the other source of (more likely free to a tenant) potential energy – water. Power your mining rig with a residential hydro generator connected to a faucet.

  6. Sun

    March 8, 2018 @ 3:19 pm

    6

    Antminer S9 if you look at noise specs is very loud. Do you want an extremely loud device running in your home or office 24/7? You also will likely not make your money back for 1-2 years as network difficulty keeps creeping up every two weeks. I read for Bitcoin it is 15% every month. So, your ASIC becomes 15% less effective every month. Even if you get free power, the cost of hardware, noise, and time involved is not worth it for many people.

    Cryptonight and Scrypt algorithm altcoins on the other hand have a lot more upside to mining.

  7. superMike

    March 12, 2018 @ 7:57 pm

    7

    Due to the recent rise in prices, none of the antminers seem to be commercially available at anything close to their list price or from normal vendors. Also, the noise.

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